Rutland Remembers HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021

It is with the utmost sadness that we hear of the death of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh. The loss of His Royal Highness will be felt across the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and across the world. However, it will be felt most keenly by our monarch, Her Majesty The Queen. The Duke has been her constant companion and support throughout her reign. He is the longest serving consort ever, having been husband to our longest serving monarch.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s role as consort to our Monarch has been immensely successful. It has entailed support rather than personal stardom.  He was unfailingly loyal and at all times put the interests of Her Majesty, the public and the State first. He did not seek the limelight or try to centre attention upon himself. He was someone with innate modesty who went on record stating the need to remember that it is his role that is important, rather than himself as an individual. His request that his funeral should not be a state occasion and that wreath-laying across the country is to be discouraged provide recent evidence of this.

His Royal Highness gave up a promising military career in the Royal Navy in order to support Her Majesty in her role as our monarch.  One might think that the role of consort could have been difficult for a man of his generation, with a powerful intellect, strong personality, charisma, humour, many talents and interests. Yet he has never wavered. Her Majesty’s successful reign owes much to his clear view of the importance of public service and his duties as consort. 

His Royal Highness was a man of many talents and interests. He has had the distinction of leaving us all with a wide legacy. His interests and concern for young people are well shown by the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme which he founded nearly 65 years ago. The scheme has helped young people achieve physical fitness, develop self-reliance, team building and leadership skills as well as making them aware of the basic requirements for human survival. His Royal Highness was an early environmentalist. As the first President of the World Wildlife Fund he brought world attention to environmental issues. He remained President Emeritus until his death. The Duke of Edinburgh’s concern for wildlife and the environment has been passed to his children and grandchildren. He remained a great supporter of the military. His Royal Highness was passionately interested in science and industry. He was a knowledgeable patron of over 780 organisations and he relished understanding what the organisations were about and how things worked.

His Royal Highness has contributed hugely to so much that makes our world a better place. In his role as consort to our sovereign he has provided vision and stability. We remember his life with deep gratitude and respect.

Rutland’s Tribute to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was a committed environmentalist and was passionate about farming. His concerns have led to his specific request that members of the public do not leave floral tributes for him. However, the Rutland Lieutenancy, led by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Dr Sarah Furness, knows that many people will wish to pay tribute to his immense contributions to our lives. We have decided to create an historic heritage orchard underplanted with spring bulbs. The Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Orchard will be planted at the Rutland Showground. The apple varieties will be carefully researched and will be ones that have been grown historically in our region. We will collect donations and the Lord-Lieutenant will be asking young people to help plant the trees and bulbs. The Lieutenancy believe that the orchard will be a fitting and lasting tribute to His Royal Highness. It will reflect His Royal Highness’s interests and Rutland’s rural character and environmental concern.

Contributions can be made by sending a cheque made payable to ‘The Rutland Lieutenancy Fund’ to my Deputy Clerk,  Kate Haworth, Civic Officer & Deputy Clerk to the Lieutenancy,. Rutland County Council, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP.

 Alternatively money can be transferred electronically to the Rutland Lieutenancy Fund. The payee name is MMBS (business account). The Bank is HSBC. Sort Code 40-05-30. Account number 74574915. Society Ref. NIE3385836THE

Covid-19 Day of Reflection

Today (23rd April) has been designated our Covid 19 Day of Reflection. What a year! My heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones, been ill or lost jobs. We have all been affected by the Covid 19 virus. But thanks to Great Britain’s vaccine programme we can look forward to more normal life!

We can’t get together yet so we’ve made the following short video to commemorate the event.

With many thanks to Nick Clarke, of Clarke PR & Media, for the production of this video.

Rutland’s wonderful Covid vaccination programme

Rutland’s COVID-19 testing centre has provided nearly 1,000 tests to residents who are unable to work from home. On March 17th I visited the centre to thank volunteers and take a test.

I met the team medics & volunteers rolling out the vaccine and giving people a really positive experience too. There’s a strong sense of community & country kindness here at Catmose. Congratulations to all, including the NHS and Rutland Council.

Book your twice weekly COVID tests here:

Avoiding food waste

I was delighted to join ⁦Youth Rutland⁩ ‘s project & help the environment by decreasing food waste. Globally one third of food is wasted & this contributes to climate change. If everyone in the UK wasted no food for a day it would have a huge impact on greenhouse gases. Thanks to Rutland Youth ⁦and Rutland Council.

Rutlanders’ community response to Covid

Thanks to all in Rutland who helped through COVID19 – inspiring to see how Rutlanders have worked for the benefit of our community. Rutland’s High Sheriff Richard Cole and I are sending out certificates of appreciation following consultation with town & parish councils who have put names forward.

Rutland has been quite astonishing: making visors, scrubs & masks, collecting and distributing food, running Good Neighbour schemes, dog walking, shopping – you name it, there have been people helping.

The Covid restrictions have severely limited my ability to meet and thank people in person, but I recorded the following message in the hope that it will be seen by at least some of the many people it is intended for:

Thank you to all Rutland’s volunteers (video opens in a new YouTube window)

Remembrance Sunday 2020

In Rutland we are proud of our military history & serving Army personnel. Remembrance 2020 has to be Covid-19 compliant. It may be different, but that does not stop us remembering with gratitude all who have served & serve our country. Our small sacrifices during the Covid pandemic pale into insignificance when compared to theirs.

Because of the Covid restrictions, to help everyone to remember in their own homes we have recorded an online Remembrance Day service for Rutland:

The Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, Thomas Menzies:

I will be attending very small, Covid-compliant services in Oakham and in Uppingham today. Sadly that means I cannot attend the short open-air service that is planned at St Andrew’s Church in my own village of Whissendine. But my husband will be there, tolling a single bell before the service. Here’s an image of the church’s Gate of Remembrance:

And here’s the socially-distanced open air service:

Dying Matters in Rutland is launched

Dying Matters in Rutland has been launched! Visit our website:

Planning ahead makes sense for people of all ages. Just as taking out insurance does not mean you will have a fire or be burgled, setting out what you would like to happen at the end of your life does not bring your end nearer! But it does mean that when the worst happens it is better for all. View the short video on the homepage to find why I am involved.

New Lieutenancy Air Cadet

October 19th – Delighted to hold a COVID19 compliant award ceremony at Oakham Castle⁩ for my Lord-Lieutenant Air Cadets. Cadet Sgt Alice Weaver handed over to Sgt Thomas Menzies. Thanks to Alice for her support – sad for her that the pandemic prevented so much. Welcome Thomas!

Battle of Britain – 80 years on

September 13th: Marking 80 years #BattleOfBritain80 at Rutland’s commemorative Spitfire ‘sculpture’ on the Oakham ring road, with committee members of Rutland’s branch of Rutland Armed Forces Association. All were socially distanced – this was necessarily a more muted occasion than had been planned, due to the Covid-19 restrictions.